Welcome to the AA School Graduate application page. If you wish to apply to the AA Graduate School please follow the steps below which will guide you through the process. Please be aware that the first application deadline for the 2016/17 academic year intake is November 2015. This is for applicants who would like an early offer. If you have any queries, please contact the Graduate Admissions Team.
- Choose your course
- Check the entry requirements
- Visit the school
- Application Procedure and Deadlines
- Receiving the decision
- Accepting your offer / paying your deposit
- Fees and financial assistance
- Tier 4 (General) Student VISA Information
- Student Life
The AA Graduate School includes 12 postgraduate programmes offering advanced studies for students with prior academic and professional experience. It is an important part of the larger AA School, which is one of the world's most dynamic, experimental and international learning environments.
Unless otherwise noted, all programmes are full-time courses of study, and all students join the school in September at the outset of a new academic year. For full details of the programmes available please see the Graduate Programme page.
It is crucial that you apply for the graduate programme most suited to your existing research interests, your personal and professional goals and your background, as it is not possible to apply for more than one programme or transfer programmes once you have accepted your place.
Institution / School Validation
The AA School achieved the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Review for Educational Oversight with full confidence in 2012, plus successful QAA Annual Reports in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and maintains Highly Trusted Sponsor status with the Home Office/UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
The AA is an Approved Institution and Affiliated Research Centre of the Open University (OU), UK. All taught graduate courses at the AA are validated by The OU. The OU is the awarding body for research degrees at the AA.
You are required to meet the minimum academic and reference requirements outlined below for your desired programme. Overseas applicants must also meet the English language qualifications requirements outlined below.
Successful applicants who are awaiting the outcome of future examination results will be issued a conditional offer. These conditions must be met by the date outlined on the offer letter in order to be eligible to enter the 2016/17 academic year.
Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2016 are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2016/17 academic year.
Minimum Academic Requirements
- MA History & Critical Thinking (12 months): Second Class Honours or above degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British university, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course no less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- MA Housing & Urbanism (12 months): Second Class Honours or above honours degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British university, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course no less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- MArch Housing & Urbanism (16 months): Five-year professional degree in architecture or a related discipline (BArch/ Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Landscape Urbanism (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, geography, engineering or other relevant discipline
- MArch Landscape Urbanism (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree or diploma in architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, urban planning, geography, engineering or other relevant discipline (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MArch in Architecture & Urbanism (Design Research Laboratory) (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Emergent Technologies & Design (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, engineering, industrial/product design or other relevant discipline
- MArch Emergent Technologies & Design (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree or diploma in architecture, engineering, industrial/product design or other relevant discipline (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Sustainable Environmental Design (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, engineering or other relevant discipline
- MArch Sustainable Environmental Design (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MSc Design & Make (12 months): Professional degree or diploma in architecture, engineering or other relevant discipline. Please note this course is held in Hook Park, Dorset.
- MArch Design & Make (16 months): Five-year professional architectural degree (BArch/Diploma equivalent). Please note this course is held in Hook Park, Dorset
- MA in Spatial Performance & Design (AAIS) (12 months): Second Class or above Honours Degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British University or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course lasting not less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- MFA in Spatial Performance and Design (AAIS) (18 months): Second Class or above Honours Degree in architecture or a related discipline from a British University or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard (from a course lasting not less than three years in a university or educational institution of university rank)
- MPhil in Media Practices* (five terms): Four or five year degree in architecture or related discipline (BArch/Diploma equivalent).
- Taught MPhil Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) (20 months): Open to candidates with a four or five-year degree in architecture (BArch/Diploma equivalent)
- MPhil or PhD candidates: Candidates for MPhil/PhD research degrees must already hold an appropriate post-professional Master’s degree in their proposed area of MPhil/PhD research. Applicants for PhD in Architectural Design must also hold a five-year professional degree in architecture and will be expected to submit a design portfolio
- Important Notice: The Conservation of Historic Buildings course has been suspended for the 2016/17 academic year. This is a temporary suspension while the school works to re-organise the programme. Please regularly review the website for further updates.
* Subject to approval and validation by The Open University.
Disclaimer: The Architectural Association School of Architecture (Inc.) reserves the right to vary or omit all or any of its facilities, tuition or activities, or amend in any substantial way any of the facilities, tuition or activities for which students may have enrolled. Students shall have no claim against the AA in respect of any alteration made to the course.
English Language Requirements (All Applicants)
All applicants must be able to provide evidence of competency in both spoken and written English. The AA reserves the right to make a place in the school conditional on gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary.
To meet both the AA and the Home Office/UKVI English language requirements you will need to have one of the acceptable language qualifications listed below, unless you are from one of the following grorups:
- You are a national of a majority English-speaking country as defined per the list on the UKVI website; or
- You have successfully completed an academic qualification of at least three years’ duration, equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UKVI (Tier 4 Policy Guidance version 06/11/2014 paragraph 129); or
- You successfully completed a course in the UK as a Tier 4 (Child) student visa holder. The course must have lasted for at least six months, and must have ended no more than two years prior to your visa application.
If your place is conditional on providing English language qualification the following qualifications satisfy both the requirements of the Home Office/UKVI and the entry requirements of the AA:
- IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each category. IELTS reports have a two year validity period. Therefore, the certificate must bear a date no longer than two years ago at the time of CAS/visa application. The AA requires a scan of the original certificate. Please provide your SELT unique reference number on your application form. This can be found on your TRF displayed as UKVI number.
- Trinity College (Integrated Skills in English – ISE III / ISE IV) at grade C1 or C2 with a minimum pass in each category. Trinity reports have a two year validity period. The AA requires a copy of the original certificate. Please provide your SELT unique reference number on your application form.
Applicants are required to meet the scores in each category and overall – we cannot accept lower scores. In addition, your certificate must show that you have achieved the required scores during a single sitting of the examination.
Please be aware that in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, applicants who require an English language examination must have booked and passed one of the approved examinations listed above by 29 January 2016. All other applicants must submit their English language examination results by Friday 27 May 2016, prior to entry in Term 1.
Please note the English language qualification requirements are subject to frequent change in line with Home Office/UKVI regulations. Please regularly check the AA website for up-to-date English language requirements prior to submitting your application for the 2016/17 academic year.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to remain up to date with all English language changes, which can also be accessed on the Home Office/UKVI website.
Open Days and Events
Prospective students are encouraged to visit the AA. Graduate Open Days are an opportunity to meet current students and staff, tour the AA's facilities, view presentations of student work and get advice on the application process.
Open days for the 2016/17 academic year will be held on:
- Thursday 5 November 2015
- Friday 22 January 2016
All prospective graduate students interested in our MArch, MA, MSc, PhD, and MPhil programmes are welcome to attend. Please note, if you are interested in gaining ARB/RIBA Part 2, please attend one of our Undergraduate Open Days.
For further details and information please register your interest in attending the Open Days.
We also invite prospective applicants to attend the Graduate Open Jury between 10am and 4pm on Thursday 5 November 2015. This is a great opportunity for prospective students to see the completed portfolios of students. The open evening will follow this event
We also invite applicants to attend the Architecture and Urbanism (DRL) Final Jury which will take place on Friday 22 January 2016 from 10am until 6pm.
Individual or group visits for those interested in applying can also be arranged with advance notice. For further details please contact the Graduate Admissions Team on T + 44 (0) 20 7887 4007/4067/4094 or email@example.com
The AA is a private institution. Anyone interested in applying to the AA must:
- Complete the online application form;
- Pay the relevant application fee: £45 for early applications, £65 for late applications; and
- Submit a portfolio of design work (all applicants with the exception of History and Critical Thinking)
The application procedure is the same for all applicants, regardless of where you are applying form.
Prior to completing the form applicants should carefully read the entry requirements for their chosen programme. The AA will not accept multiple applications and applicants cannot change their programme of study once the application has been received, assessed and a decision has been made. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for the programme most suited to your experience.
Applications will not be processed until the online form has been completed, all required supporting documents have been provided, and the AA has received a bound portfolio (if applicable). Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application. It is therefore advisable that you start preparing this documentation now.
If there is any change in your circumstances after you submit your application (i.e. you will not be completing your current year of study), you must inform us as soon as possible. The AA reserves the right to withdraw an offer of a place if you fail to inform us of significant changes in your circumstances.
- Optional early offers for 2016/17 close: Friday 27 November 2015*.
- Early (Winter) applications for 2016/17 close: Friday 29 January 2016*. Applicants wishing to be considered for a bursary must submit their online form, English language (if required) and portfolio by this date.
- Late (Spring) applications for 2016/17 close: Friday 11 March 2016.
Both your online application, and your portfolio, must arrive by the dates listed above.
Applications received after this date may be accepted at the discretion of the school.
* To be eligible to apply for a bursary, you must submit your application and portfolio (if applicable) no later than 29 January 2016 stating your interest in an AA bursary in the ‘Financial Assistance’ section of the online form. Applicants who require an English language examination must also have booked and passed one of the approved English language examinations by 29 January 2016, in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary.
Online form AVAILABLE MID OCTOBER
You will need to register to gain access to the online application form
Please ensure you complete all sections of the online form carefully. You can save the form and return to complete sections multiple times using your original registration password.
Please be aware that applications will not be processed until the online form has been completed, all required supporting documents have been provided, and the AA has received a bound portfolio. Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application.
Applicants who submit an incomplete application will be contacted by email to request the outstanding documentation. The AA will send applicants a maximum of 2 reminders to follow up documentation. If no response is received, the application with be automatically rejected by the AA.
Upon signing the application form applicants certify that the work submitted is entirely their own. Plagiarism is unacceptable in the academic setting. Students are subject to penalties including dismissal from the course if they commit an act of plagiarism.
Certificates and Transcripts
You must submit scanned copies of your academic records or transcripts which include a detailed list of subjects taken and marks attained.
If you have completed your degree, please upload both the degree certificate and your transcripts (covering all years of study). If you have not completed your degree, please upload all academic transcripts to date.
Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2016 are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2016/17 academic year.
Overseas applicants must provide documents in English. The AA can only accept official translations bearing the stamp and signature of the translator. Please also include scanned copies of the un-translated certificates and transcripts.
Applicants must submit two references with the online application form: one related to work experience, the other academic. If the applicant has no work experience two academic references are required. References must be on headed paper and signed. No application will be considered before two references have been received.
Referees who would prefer to send the reference to us directly can do so by post to:
Graduate Admissions, No. 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.
Referees can also email us directly to firstname.lastname@example.org However, the reference must be on official headed paper, be signed and scanned as a PDF, and emailed directly from the referees official school or university email address. Emails received from personal email addresses will not be accepted.
With the exception of History and Critical Thinking, all applicants must submit a hard copy, bound portfolio of design work, no larger than A4 format, showing a combination of both academic and professional work. The AA does not accept digital portfolios.
You must send your portfolio by post or courier to arrive at the AA by 6.00pm on:
- Friday 27 November 2015 for Optional Early Offer deadline.
- Friday 29 January 2016 for Early (Winter) deadline.
- Friday 11 March 2016 for late applications.
The portfolio should be clearly labelled with a completePortfolio Cover Sheet (PDF) and be addressed and sent to: Graduate Admissions, No 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the portfolio arrives by the deadline. If it arrives after final application deadline, it may be accepted at the discretion of the School.
All courier fees, including import charges, must be paid when sending your portfolio. Failure to pay these fees may result in your portfolio being returned to you. Alternatively, the AA may accept the package, but you will be required to pay the outstanding charges before your application will be processed.
Portfolios will be returned / available to pick up when the AA no longer requires them for assessment purposes. Therefore, please ensure that you have copies of your work if you require them for other purposes. If you cannot collect your portfolio in person, a £50 fee will be charge to have it couriered to you.
All applications will only be acknowledged by email. Decisions on applications are normally given within six to eight weeks of receiving the application. Applicants who need to meet funding deadlines should submit their application as early as possible. Please indicate the funding deadline in your application and the AA will make every effort to ensure that you are notified of the decision as soon as possible.
Step 1 – Entry Requirements
Applications are initially assessed to ensure that they meet the academic entry requirements outlined above. Applicants who do not meet the requirements will be informed by email. Successful applications will be passed to Step 2.
Step 2 – Application and Portfolio Review
Applications that meet the entry requirements will be assessed by the Programme Director and a second academic member of staff. The directors will carefully consider the personal statement, references and portfolio.
The Graduate School does not insist on an interview as a condition of entry. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the AA for an interview with the programme's academic staff before applying. Appointments can be made through the Graduate Admissions Team.
Applicants will receive a formal letter confirming the outcome of their application. This will be sent by email and by post.
Successful applicants will receive a conditional offer letter from the AA and must send certified true copies of their documents requested via courier or post to the AA for verification (photocopies will not be accepted). English language certificates should be scanned and emailed to email@example.com
The AA reserves the right to offer an applicant an alternative level of entry within the programme i.e. an MSc instead of MArch. This information will be clearly outlined in your offer letter. In all instances the final decision as to the appropriate level of entry is established by the Programme Directors.
Applicants are offered a place on one programme only, and cannot switch between programmes.
Once all the conditions have been met applicants will receive an unconditional offer letter. Applicants must hold an unconditional offer in order to enter the school for the 2016/17 academic year and receive a CAS (if applicable).
Decisions on the admission of applicants are final and there is generally no right of appeal against the decision. The AA will only consider a complaint if there is substantive evidence that the admissions procedure was not correctly followed. Any complaint concerning applications should be addressed to the Head of Admissions, Kirstie Little via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Unsuccessful applicants are eligible to apply to the school the following academic year. However, if the second application is unsuccessful, any further applications will be accepted at the discretion of the AA School.
Accepting Your Place
All applicants must pay a 1 term deposit and submit a signed admissions form by the date outlined on the offer letter/admissions form to secure a place in the School for the 2016/17 academic year.
Payments and admissions forms received after the deadlines will be accepted at the discretion of the School. The AA reserves the right to operate a waiting list as places within the course / programme cannot be guaranteed.
The 1 term deposit is non-refundable/non-transferable. For graduate and foundation applicants, the deposit is also non-deferrable.
Applicants holding an unconditional offer must pay their deposit and return a signed admissions form by the dates outlined on the offer letter/admissions form.
Applicants holding a conditional offer should contact the appropriate admissions coordinator prior to paying the deposit. In some instances paying the deposit will be recommended (i.e. for Foundation and First Year applicants) However, most graduate applicants will be asked to wait until all conditions are met before paying the deposit. The AA School takes no responsibility for applicants who pay their deposit prior to obtaining an unconditional offer.
If you fail to meet the conditions outlined in your offer letter please inform the school immediately. Unfortunately, you will be required to withdraw and re-apply the following academic year.
The deposit amounts for the 2015/16 academic year are below:
- MA / MSc / MArch / MFA: £7,909*
- MPhil / PhD Research Degrees: £7,123*
The deposit will count towards the cost of the tuition fees for the final term of the programme. Please note that applicants in receipt of a bursary cannot use this towards payment of the deposit.
* The deposit amount for the 2016/17 academic year will be confirmed in January 2016.
We understand that fees and financial assistance are important considerations when choosing where to study. This section aims to provide you with a summary of the fees and the financial assistance available to prospective and current students.
Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
Upon securing your place a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) can be issued for students who require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa to study in the UK. This confirmation, together with other documentation, can be used by overseas students to apply for a visa. Please refer to the Home Office/UKVI website for further information:
London is a fantastic city to be a student in and living in your own home away from the AA School is part of the experience. Even though for most students, living in London will be a very positive experience, students often find the prospect of finding private sector housing daunting.
London is distinct from most other places in the UK when it comes to private accommodation for students because it is not usually possible to arrange your accommodation far in advance of starting your course. This is a great thing as it gives students plenty of time to think about their accommodation options and decide on the best one. Most students find their accommodation about 1-2 months before moving in.
University of London Housing Services (ULHS)
The AA School is pleased to announce that we have enlisted the services of the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) http://www.housing.lon.ac.uk who run a private housing service for many students in London.
The ULHS can offer advice to students on how to find accommodation, which areas to consider, what the options are, pricing and more. They produce a London Student Housing Guide which includes a vast amount of information on how to search and secure accommodation in London which is also accessible online at http://www.housing.lon.ac.uk/housing-guide. You will receive a copy of this guide during Introduction Week.
They have an online database of accommodation offers from registered landlords and letting agents which operates throughout the year. These offers include flats and houses for groups as well as rooms in shared flats and houses.
Finally, the ULHS offers housing advice which includes offering a contract checking service which allows students to have their contracts for private accommodation checked before they sign. They also offer legal advice should students get into any difficulty in private accommodation.
Both current students and those with an offer to study can access these services. New offer holders will have access to this service from Monday 10 August. If you would like to make an enquiry via the ULHS website you will need your AA membership number which can be found on your offer letter. Current students will be able to access this service from 19 August.
If you have any questions about finding accommodation in London please contact ULHS: * www.housing.lon.ac.uk
* Email: email@example.com
* Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8880 * Facebook: www.facebook.com/UoLHousingServices
* Twitter: @ulhs
Please note, due to this new agreement, the AA will no longer be running a separate Accommodation Office service during September. However, we will be organising an AA Accommodation Event during Introduction Week. Further details will be available soon.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate Admissions Team via email firstname.lastname@example.org or as below:
Saira Soarez +44 (0)20 7887 4007 – Architecture & Urbanism (DRL), Sustainable Environmental Design and PhD enquiries
Imogen Evans +44 (0)20 7887 4067 – Emergent Technologies & Design and Landscape Urbanism enquiries
Tim Clarke +44 (0)20 7887 4094 – Housing & Urbanism, History & Critical Thinking, Design & Make, Spatial Performance & Design (AAIS), Media Practices and Projective Cities enquiries